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CDC: Mortality Rate From Falls Up for U.S. Seniors

Researchers also report that car crashes cause 1 in 7 unintentional deaths in older Americans

THURSDAY, May 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The number of American seniors who die from fall-related injuries has nearly doubled since 2000, according to a May data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

The observation is based on an analysis of mortality rate information compiled by the National Vital Statistics System between 2000 and 2013. The report specifically noted that while roughly 30 seniors in every 100,000 died following a fall in 2000, that figure jumped to nearly 57 per 100,000 by 2013. The investigators also implicated falling as the cause of death in more than half (55 percent) of the roughly 90,000 unintentional injury fatalities involving seniors in 2012 and 2013.

The CDC report also indicates that car accidents are now responsible for 6,000 senior deaths per year. That's 14 percent of all unintentional injury deaths among those 65 and up. Car accidents are followed by death by suffocation (8 percent), accidental poisoning (4 percent), and death by fire (2 percent).

Deaths resulting from accidental injuries now make up 85 percent of all injury-related deaths among American seniors, according to the CDC researchers. In the report, one in 10 unintentional injury deaths were due to a cause that was deemed "unspecified." Death resulting from suicide is by far the most common intentional injury among today's seniors (13 percent), followed by homicide (2 percent), according to the report.

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